Best of Russian Lenses??????????????????????

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by ruilourosa, May 24, 2011.

  1. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    Hello i recently bought three russian rangefinders one kiev, one zorki and one fed, they have a industar 61m 2.8 and the other two have jupiters 8m f/2.

    There are off course some quality issues envolving russian lenses but is there any that is consistently better, i´ve read that the helios 103 for the kiev could be a bit better than the jupiter 8...

    jupiter 12 is worth a try?

    anything else?

    thanks
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Jupiter 9 - I haven't used one but I've heard good things about it. I would like to try one when I get some money together.
    Industar 28. I use this lens often on a FED 2 and I think it's great. It's nothing fancy but works as a lens should.
     
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

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    J-3: beautiful look, J-9 is great too. J-8 are usually very sharp. These 3 are my favorites.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
  4. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Jupiter-3 is a Zeiss Sonnar copy from the -40's. Very nice lens when clean and in good condition. You can expect a typical Sonnar glow. Its sharp when stopped down and very usable opened up. The older version you can find the better it is optically (2 first digits of serial gives the year of manufacturing). Jupiter-8 is another Zeiss copy and a very good lens if you can find a chrome version from the -50's. Later black J-8 version is not considered as good but it's no slough either. J-9 is yet another Zeiss copy. It's a marvelous short tele for portraits with nice OOF rendition. J-12 is not considered as a top contender among 35mm M39 lenses but it's a good everyday lens.

    Industar lenses are optically more or less Tessars. Nicely sharp when stopped down. My personal favorite is the early Industar-26. Industar-61 is much liked too. It has indexed aperture ring which makes it easier to use.

    Cannot comment on Helios lenses but I've heard they are very good. Kiev lenses are typically a bit less expensive than M39 lenses.
     
  5. thaung

    thaung Member

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    I own and have owned a lot of FSU lenses, the Jupiter-8 if you can find a good sample is just stunning. I have a 1955 chrome version with focus tab that yields awesome pictures. I have also owned a 1970 black version, rotating front is the big difference but it was also a good performer. No click-stops on the aperture is the only drawback but that is as have already been said, common to most russian lenses.

    Jupiter-3 can also be very good but in general they are more affected by quality control (or lack off) issues. Focus is usually off. But if you either find one that has been serviced or get your copy serviced you have a great fast lens.

    Same thing goes for the Jupiter-9. It is a wonderful lens if you get decent copy.

    Just as a side note, it's quite cheap to get these lenses fixed so if you do intend to keep it it's a small investment to send it for a CLA. Or you could just buy a bunch of them and try one until you find a good copy :smile:
     
  6. thaung

    thaung Member

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    Oh, and the Jupiter-12 is also good, Zeiss copy as it is. With the one I owned I thought it was very flare prone, more so than any other of the russians.

    Hard to change aperture though, small ring that lies recessed in the lens. Even harder to see the aperture scale. And the most important, the rear element is extremely easy to scratch. Hard to find one that hasn't already been damaged to some degree and scratches on the back element is always worse than the front, even more so when it is a wide angle lens.
     
  7. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    After using a Jupiter-3, Industar-61N, Jupiter-8, and Industar-22, I finally settled on an Industar-50 for my Canon. So far, so good. Finding the 50 in excellent condition was most challenging.

    Russian Lens Data . . .
    http://www.baierfoto.de/russobj/objektive.html
     
  8. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    The best one is the one properly shimmed/adjusted for your body. :smile:

    I've had two J12s which were way off when used on a Leica body. I have a Zorki with an Industar 22 that was aligned to the body (which was far away from standard and thus the body and lens are incompatible with any other body/lens I have). On the other hand, the lenses which have been properly aligned (and FSU bodies for that matter) have been very nice.
     
  9. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    I imagine everyone's experience will be a little different, just as each camera and lens is a little different! I have a J-8 on my Kiev, very nice, a favorite. Industar 26 and 61 on the FEDs, also nice, but I prefer the I61. I have a late J-9 in LTM that is almost too sharp, especially for portraits. I'm going to try some diffusion schemes. My J-12 for the Kiev is excellent. They're so cheap I don't care if I get the occasional dog.
     
  10. thaung

    thaung Member

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    I have also owned a couple of Industar 61 L/D's but have in every case found that my Jupiter-8 was by far the sharpest even if the I61 had more contrast. I think many people are fooled by the I61's contrast and are led to believe that it is sharper lens than it actually is. Apart from it's click-stop aperture I really can't see what the fus is about.

    I'll second the opinion that the Industar-50 is a nice lens though. I've owned one and regret selling it.

    Although russian lenses are a bit of a lottery and your mileage may vary as they say....
     
  11. roadmouse

    roadmouse Member

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    I have used the Industar-22, Industar-61 and the Jupiter-8.
    So far, I like the Jupiter-8 best.
     
  12. JS MD

    JS MD Member

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    try Russar
     
  13. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    I second the Russar MR-2 for wide angle use!
    [​IMG]
    You can check my apug.org gallery for some shots.
    The Russar ask for slim filters - otherwise it might vignette in the corners.
    In the 50mm department the NKVD lenses have nostalgic charm
    [​IMG]
    As far as the rest of the russian lenses.. - as long as they are properly collimated and optic elements in good health etc etc - they are excellent.
     
  14. JS MD

    JS MD Member

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    properly collimated lenses - is a main issue of russian lenses .Regards
     
  15. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Well, years ago I had my 1940 Leitz Elmar f/3,5 50 serviced in UK to clean some dust from inside etc.
    The Elmar came back with its front element not properly set to lay and even worse - tightened in that position - the end results was a vortex in side of the frame and the entire image looked not as You would expect from Leitz..., so You can end up with collimation issues with every lens, not just russian ones.
     
  16. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    What about best M42 russian lens? And most useable M39 Russian Rangefinder? :smile:
     
  17. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

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    Yes, people tend to forget that there is a whole range of FSU (not necessarily Russian) lenses which were made primarily for Zenit SLRs, which comply to the Praktica/Pentax standard 45.46mm register and M42x1 screw thread, so they can be used on any 35mm (or digital) SLR which has, or can be adapted to, the M42 thread. Early Zenits actually had an M39x1 thread but still the same register, and it is not difficult to get an M39 to M42 adapter. And of course they don't have the same focus issues as their rangefinder brothers. There is the common Helios-44 58/2, the Industar-61L/Z macro lens which is falsely claimed by some to be radio-active, the Mir-1 37/2.8, the Jupiter-9 85/2, the almost legendary Helios-40 85/1.5 which is said to be based on a Zeiss Biotar design and weighs 950 grams on its own, the Jupiter-11 135/4, and many other lesser known lenses.

    They are all good if you can get a good example, just like all FSU gear.

    To my mind, the most useful FSU M39 rangefinder is the Zorki 6 with its wide-base rangefinder (about 68mm), a conventional opening back door instead of bottom loading, and lever advance. Its immediate ancestor, the Zorki 5, is nearly as good but it has bottom loading.